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Old 08-06-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
dyintorace
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 75
My Ride: 2004 ZHP sedan
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Evening everyone,

My name is Tucker and I just bought a 2002 325iT. It's in great condition with only 54k miles. It is basically stock other than some cosmetic changes made by the PO.

I'm new to e46's, but have previously owned two e36 M3's (both 1995 cars) and one e30 M3 (1988), so I'm returning back home to BMW's. I am excited about having another one and have big plans for upgrades.

Having said that, I am going to need some input. I don't know much about vendors, choices, the best parts, etc for these cars. Listed below are things I'd like to accomplish over the next year or so, in no particular order. Please feel free to chime in if you have recommendations on any items. I would appreciate it!

1. Supercharger (who is best?)
2. Wheels (what offset do I need? if anyone is interested in the chrome wheels, I'm going to sell them)
3. ZHP-type front bumper (are there options other than OEM?)
4. M3-style side mirrors (same as previous question)
5. LED tailights (can this be done?)
6. Clear front corners (can this be done without buying entire assemblies?
7. Clear sides
8. Brakes

On the brakes, a buddy is willing to give me his brand new Porsche brakes from his 2006 Carrera (non-S) car if I want them. He upgraded to 6-piston Brembos and doesn't need the factory versions anymore. Can this swap be accomplished? Will it mean I need at least 18" wheels to clear them?

Here is a picture:
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I look forward to learning more about the car and hope to learn as much as I can from you all.

Tucker
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:39 PM   #2
Anub!s
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Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,804
My Ride: e92M, e46 330ci
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:34 AM   #3
DesertMotorWorks
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,169
My Ride: 2004 330CI
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:33 PM   #4
dyintorace
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 75
My Ride: 2004 ZHP sedan
Thanks guys! I'm looking forward to learning a lot and slowly upgrading the car over time.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
JJR4884
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 18,287
My Ride: BMW
welcome and good luck w/ the car!

for some reason i think the zhp rims would look absolutely sick on your car, check the classifieds to see if they are for sale
i'm loving the light tint..... i think anything darker than 35% is too dark, especially for a bimmer........ that light tint gives such a clean look to it

congrats!!!
and clears please, get rid of that orange
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:26 PM   #6
jay123
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Welcome, clean ride.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
jmcdolej
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 565
My Ride: 328i-GONE ;(
Nice wagon, clear will make a huge diff.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
geri
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Marin County CA
Posts: 88
My Ride: 06 330ci / 02 330xit
Nice car and welcome to the touring famiy. You will find a lot of discussion on your contemplated mods if you search and watch this board, but here is my take on some of your questions.

First, I wonder, are you looking to mod primarily for looks or performance? Your list suggests looks but your name and your ownership history suggests that you may be interested in the performance side of the equation. For many looks versus performance becomes an unintended trade-off for the worse because some things look like cool performance modifications but don't offer anything in the way of a performance "upgrade". Some are even downgrades in terms of performance.

Check out the extensive discussion on FI and decide for yourself which SC is best. There is a ton of hype and bluster associated with FI so make a commitment to do a bit of research. If you do go this route and you are not an experienced and or talented mechanic the best SC is the one that you can get most reliably installed, tuned and serviced. All SCs can present significant challenges in all these areas. So, form a good relationship with a local shop that has done quite a few of them before you make any decisions.

General wheel specs for 3 series non M should be 5x120 pattern with 38-42mm offset. No one "needs" 18" wheels, many chose them for looks. In fact most other things being equal 17" wheels are a better choice for performance. They tend to be lighter and generally offer the best ride and handling characteristics. An added benefit is that the tires cost much less. Most people choose 8 or 8.5 inch wheels but 9" can be used under certain conditions. Also, if you are interested in Auto-x you may find that 7.5" wheels are necessary to comply with class rules. Whatever you get, go for light weight but also consider strength as our cars are pretty heavy. Then consider how they look. Light weight wheels and tires offer a very significant performance improvement. I use the very practial looking Kosei K-1s for the track, but I do not consider them strong enough for rough street use. Ihey can be prone to cracking and bending. I think a good alternate are OZ ultraleggera. They are not as strong as a forged wheel but they are pretty strong, light, relatively inexpensive and look great. You could go 17" or if you must even 18" with these. I have a set of the older Super Leggera that I use for auto-x and Summer fun driving. I prefer equal width wheels and tires at all four corners, again for performance. With most coil over suspension (see below) and 8.5 inch wheels you can go with 245 or 255 /40 17 tires all around without any fender rolling or spacers, depending on the tire MFG. (BTW the wheels you have now are among my OEM favorites for looks, though I am not that crazy about the chrome finish. They are likely 17 x 8 and you probably have 225/45 tires. This is a decent combination with a good Summer tire. Your current wheels hould acommodate up to a 235 or 245 /40 tire if you want. Again this depends on the tire mfg. and your front suspension.) To shop for or buy wheels and tires on line Tire Rack is pretty hard to beat.

As for the BBK I don't know if the Porshe calipers will work but even if they will I wouldn't recommend them.They will just complicate your life. They were not designed for the car and pads are expensive. It is a common misconception that BBKs offer more or better stopping power. What they offer is better heat distribution and reduced chance of fading under high stress (read "race")conditions. BMW OEM brakes are great. They work exceedingly well, are designed for the car, are well integrated into the car's abs and dsc systems, are trouble free, and are relatively easy and cheap to maintain. Also, given the modest HP of the 325 a BBK is big time overkill. Adding performance pads, SS lines and racing fluid is relatively cheap, easy, and result in brakes that are plenty effective, even for occasional track days and fairly regular auto-x. You could also go with bronze carrier bushings for some additional pedal firmness but these aren't necessary and require regular maintenance. If you are contemplating lots of track time you might consider performance brakes but you could do nearly as well (with the exception of weight) by simply upgrading to 330 brakes with the aforementioned enhancements for about a third the price of most BBKs. If you decide you must have a multi-piston performance brake get a system that has been engineered for and proven on our cars, many kits will work just fine with 17 inch wheels. Take a look at UUC Wilwood brakes. They are light, work well, preserve brake bias and functionality on the car, and are reasonably priced. An additional big plus is that they use relatively inexpensive pads that are offered in a variety of compounds. In my opinion anything bigger is pretty silly for a street car.

Handling on your touring can be significantly improved with stiffer sway bars (UUC Sway Barbarians are a good choice.) and new suspension. You're probably close to being due for shocks and struts anyway. They are often worn out at 60k miles, particularly in the rear. The OEM rear units used on the tourings are absolutely pathetic. Most people do shocks and springs to lower and stiffen things up and to keep costs down, Koni adjustable or Bilstein units with HR springs are very popular and well regarded. (Bilstein's tend to be generally stiffer and some find them a bit harsh for street driving.) Personally, I am a big believer in coil overs particularly for a touring as the additional adjustability makes a significant difference. Again the popular choices are Koni and Bilstein but the widest tires are problematic for the Bilsteins. I have double adjustable KW units. They are a bit more up market. Also look at TC Cline as they are Koni based and very highly regarded. With any work on the rear suspension of a touring installation of after market shock mounts is a must as it is a major pain in the a** to replace the rear shocks. RSMs will allow future rear shock replacement without removal of a large portion of the rear interior.

Finally, if you spend any time on this or some of the other BMW boards you will find that there are a number of people who just don't get why we like the wagons. Some can be down right rude and insulting, most are just immature and un-informed. Don't let these characters phase you, and good luck with your car.
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